Trading, mining, transport of persons, smuggling and data courier/explorer are all viable career options. Violence is the most accessible career in terms of exposure and media attention, but civvie street is well stocked.
Trading lies on an artificial economy based on scarcity and planetary specialisation. You can game the market but it requires team work, huge cargo bays and an effective 'union' presence to blockade or buy out goods as they're spawned. As the universe gets bigger it will be easier to affect backwaters and harder to impact civilised space.
Mining is not implemented yet but is effectively dogfighting of a kind. the right mining gear, with good aim and patience will be required to avoid release of volatile gasses, debris and potential void critters. Every rock could be a pay day or a mega tonne explosion depending on how you handle it. Gun mining is 'possible' but with terrible waste and almost guaranteed cataclysm. (Source: FD Design Document)
Transport of persons is another rumoured option. Design documents state it will be in at launch, and you can install quarters of vary quality into your ship. Specialised ships can fit high tier VIP quarters . The importance of your guest and quality of their accommodation affects the number and quality of spin off missions they may offer you. After all, knowing a licensed free spacer is useful no matter who you are.
Smuggling, like trading but chillier (running silent means venting your heat sink and cutting 'non-essential' features; shields, engines, sometimes life support). The Feds don;t want their people getting access to sporting equipment like 'High Calibre Battle Weaponry'? Fight for freedom by enduring potential hypothermia and explosive decompression by picking up some life-ending hardware form an anarchy or indie system and coasting into a station with underground connections available. Make mad profit and try not to lose sleep over it.
Exploration requires going out into the unknown, scanning a lot of things and returning with data chits to hand in for exploration bounties. You can have these stolen from you, but unlike cargo they cannot be scanned - engineer your situation by playing dumb with your attack if you think you have the charisma for it. Scanning lights you up big time, so data pirates may just wait for you to scan the system while running cold, then try to hunt you down. However, if you luck out and find life bearing planets or resources in demand, the Fed and Empire pay handsomely. If you can get back before your competitors.
That is a run down of civvy careers for now; I plan to carry on my EVE tradition and go loaded for a fight, but looking for a reliable income through measured risks and cooperation.
BONUS: Have an Asp Explorer HRes Pic: http://elitedangerous.com/extra/newsletter_2014_09_19/HighResScreenShot_2014-09-19_11-34-49