Coming from Philadelphia I had zero industry connections. I had to first figure out what people even did in the industry. After I sorted what the roles were, I shifted from what was my hobby to something more aligned with what I guessed I’d be interested in. I think exposure to the things you are interested in stands at the top of my list. Getting a view into the inner workings of a set, pre and post production are invaluable in helping shape your perceptions of different roles and how other interrelate. Only after observing the machine and all of its components can you make a more informed choice of which direction to go.
So my advice would be to get in the mix, spend time watching how things get made. This may be via working, interning or even just visiting sets. Income is less important in those instances than what you take in terms of contacts, experience or other insights gained by witnessing how things are done. And I will always affirm that seeing things done poorly can be equally as valuable as witnessing proper procedures.