Work for (x) the very best possible person you can at (y) the very best possible start-up/successful tech co.
It’ll be tight in 5 years, but it’s your best odds.
If you work for someone truly great, they will mentor you, at least, inadvertently. This is a career turbocharger. You can then at least take this in 2-3 into a higher paying, more equity gig at at Even Better Start-Up. Or you’ll get promoted and some serious equity at the one you join.
Try to pick well. I know it’s hard. But there are power laws for early employees, and even later employees, as well. Your equity will be worth almost nothing at most start-ups. But at the ones worth $5b+ … employees that join before a $500m valuation or so almost always do pretty well. The early employees — often really well.