Efficiency at doing a certain task, at the workplace or otherwise, is strongly influenced by how motivated individuals are. Exploring new ways to motivate employees is often at the top of a company’s agenda. Traditionally identified motivators in Western economies primarily include salary and prestige, often complemented by meaning, creation, challenge, ownership, identity, etc. We report the results of a survey conducted in Slovenia, involving an ensemble of highly educated employees from various public and private organizations. Employing new methodologies such as network analysis, we find that Slovenians are stimulated by an intricate web of interdependent factors, largely in contrast to the traditional understanding that mainly emphasizes money and prestige. In fact, these key motivators only weakly correlate with the demographic parameters. Unexpectedly, we found the evidence of a general optimism in Slovenian professional life - a tendency of the employees to look at the “bright side of things”, thus seeing more clearly the benefits of having something than the drawbacks of not having it. We attribute these particularities to Slovenian recent history, which revolves around gradually embracing the Western (economic) values.