A tale of a star-faring merchant ship in the far future. . . .
A bildungsroman rather than a space opera. Ishmael's mother dies abruptly in an accident on a company planet where she had worked for ht university, and there's no unskilled jobs available. Ishmael has 90 days before he's deported as his own expense. He tries for a berth on a merchant ship, and is told that none of the ships are looking for a quarter share position, all he's eligible for. (That is, he would get a fourth of a normal share of the crew's cut of the profits.)
But then the woman tells him he might just want to be packed to go just in case.
So he does indeed get a berth. And the bulk is the book about his learning his way about. How to brew proper coffee. Drills. The private trading that the crew does with their allotments of space. The tests to become a half-share. Making friends. Belts and mushrooms and gems.
First in a series but does cover a clear stage in his life.