As for character working methods, I always start with the main trait and then worry about the physical appearance of my "people". I need to know what makes my characters tick before I can visualise them and fill in the remaining details. The main trait leads to what drives my characters and shows up, for me, more clearly than anything else what kind of people they are.
As for inside the world of your story, what working methods do your people use? Is it all manual labour, magic, machinery or any combination of these? Who are the employers and what are the jobs? Where magic is used, are there any limitations on this (to prevent exploitation, say)?