Hello, and welcome, to the game and these forums
Because the Player Characters are, to an extent, the “movers and shakers” of the Empire, and because the loud and ambitous players tend to be the most obvious, you could certainly get the impression of everyone wanting power and prestige
But for every player wanting to be the next Senator/General/Trade Prince, there are a dozen planning such grandiose schemes as “have an IC romance”, “drink at every bar on the field” “fight on the battlefield with my friends”, and so on.
Generally useful? Make things for your group (Artisan, Apothecary), support them in battle, handle the finances, or just be the social person who knows everyone and can suggest who to talk to for any given problem.
Ambition is a virtue in game. But so is Loyalty, Prosperity, and others. Pick something to do, and have fun with it.
An example: my first character decided to catalogue all the heraldries on the field. All the symbols of all the groups in all the Nations. Inmportant? No. But after a while he could identify and name everyone and had contacts everywhere