Often times people want to own a ship, thus they do a simple task every 24 hours, clicking and voting at the following location:
<---Click Here it will lead you to the CP Exchange
Then at 6500 you can get an ETA Fighter, or save up for better ships, or you can donate money via the CP Exchange and purchase a ship of your choice. But clicking daily will allow for a CP bonus at the end of the week, so keep that in mind. Or you can buy a ship via CPM (Centrepoint Marketplace, Commerce Forum, Classifieds or by going to Ship Production faction websites and ordering a ship, which is often times cheaper but you have to wait for the ship to be produced.)
Then you can join a faction who will pay you monthly, basically a salary, which varies from faction to faction, some pay more then others, but it's the friendships that you can acquire that are more interesting then funds most of the time.
Lastly you will know when you have joined a faction, when under your name you will see the name of the faction you joined, not sure how it works, but I also believe you will get a general event or a DM that will state that you have been accepted to "X" faction, I haven't joined a faction in quite some time so I don't know how it works any more.
If you really want a ship badly though, you could also join a Ship Production faction, often times I'm sure they will offer a discount on select ships, though you will have to earn enough to purchase at said discounted price.
Edit- Pointed out Hyperlink