Is this for real? Are there people sliding up to senior co-workers these days with a notepad and maybe a few flowers and asking ‘will you be my mentor?’. Seems gross to me; and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the recipients’ immediate response was ‘this fuckin’ guy has got another job for me to do!’
My suggestion would be to try to be a bit less awkward about it. Follow the permission-less apprentice approach. If you see someone you’d like to learn from, first think of something you can do for them, and learn your lessons as you work together.
And even then - don’t ask with cow eyes ‘is there anything I can do for you, my mentor?’ but go ahead and do the [thing] and offer it to them. Maybe some research you think they might find interesting. Some new spreadsheet helping them with their daily work. Explain TikTok to them (and me too while you’re at it). Then leverage that initial value into ‘maybe there are some other things I could help you with - let’s talk about what you’ve got on and how you do it’ etc.
I don’t know - you do you - but my suggestion would be to add value first and your lessons will come second.
Read Five Links #018 here.