I am in the marketing/copywriting world looking for work and am often asked to do extensive spec work or writing assignments for jobs, even early on in the process. The most recent one, I sent them a partially completed assignment and said I do not spend more than 2 hours on spec work for early-stage applications (even though I spent waaay more on it). I thought they would throw my candidacy away, but to my surprise, they want to move forward. What I did as a risky power move ended up paying off (well, in this case)!
I'm wondering how other job seekers in the creative industry handle spec work.
*Disclaimer: I have been a manager and used example spec work / writing tests to hire good copy and content writers. I understand it's a way to "weed out" the people who won't put in the work and don't have quality skills. However, asking for 8+ hours on campaign elements that could ultimately be used by the employer seems unacceptable to me.