If you use firefox you can download the add on;- "Chatzilla" which will allow you to use IRC.
I agree with Ryan, the best thing to do is to post on "Positions Vacant", many factions won't allow you to fly a ship to own, however many factions work with ship producers, thus you may be able to get a ship at a private price by being a member. ie. R-41 costs 700k on the public market, but may cost you 300k .
In regards to transportation, a faction will often send someone to pick you up and transfer you to your assignment. Keep in mind it still takes a bit of time to get there and to your drop off all depending. Best of luck.
Join Date: Year 3 Day 340