Decide what you would like your character to be and choose your skills accordingly. There is no "money making"; skill here, so do what you like. Pick colors you like for your clothes because only professional tailors can use dyetubs effectively. You will however, be able to change your hairstyle with a hairbrush and grow your hair with a tonic, so no worries about that. See the hair section for more details. You can choose any starting city you like, however, you are more likely to run into other players and be able to acquire what you need from the city of Britain. Also, some of the other cities are downright dangerous-- do yourself a favor and just choose Britain.
Xanola edit: The following has been proven to be untrue Note: You cannot be an effective tank mage on this shard. Pick one or the other.
To get on your feet, you can use your "occupation" and/or go hunting to earn a little gold. If you decide to go hunting, hunt lower life animals in the nearby forests of Britain for skill gain and to sell hides and meat. Skara Brae is also a good place for this. Learn the moongates to get around. You may have to purchase a weapon if you did not get a weapon in your starting equipment. Leather armor is also available from a Leatherworker. Cut up the bodies for meat, hides, and necromancy reagents. You may have to use your dagger on the name of the creature from "all names". Sell off your meat and hides. Vendors will buy most anything, logs and ribs included. Also, with the hunger system, you might want to cook the meat and use the food yourself. Health, stamina and mana recovery is about one half the normal rate of recovery if you are starving. Do not stuff yourself as eating will regenerate your stamina and you may need that for last minute getaway. Do not starve yourself either. I have heard that your stats can go as low as 1 hitpoint, 1 mana and 1 stamina if you don't eat. Stay out of combat mode if you can help it, your stats do not regenerate in combat mode (or it is so slow you don't notice it, I never did). Camping also helps to recover lost stats, if you can "rest by the campfire". Remember to get your weapons and armor repaired regularly.
Definition of "newbiefied:
If you die and it is in your main backpack, it will still be there in your pack when you resurrect. Known "newbie" items include: Starting equipment and original clothes, keys, keyrings, spellbooks, runebooks. Necromancy books are not newbiefied.