Some political appointees, who had planned to spend at least four years in Washington, are updating their resumes. Some who are not ought to be.

Word is that the President's upcoming budget, which has been described as "tough, austere" and whittled-to-the-bone, will trigger some top-level resignations. In other cases, budget-watchers say, the new direction of the administration will mean that some appointees who once looked pretty good will be quietly asked to look for other work.

Although the President asked for two-year minimum commitments from most appointees, friction is growing between White House staffers and top officials in departments and agencies. Insiders say that key appointees at HUD and HEW, in particular, are bitter over tentative budget and program cuts that have been made by the Office of Management and Budget.

In order to reduce the amount of red ink in the new budget that goes to to Congress in January, Carter has ordered agencies and OMB reviewers to cut, and cut again. Many pet programs, which officials came in charged to push and make successful, are going down the tubes. And with them, maybe, the careers of some political appointees who are, in the words of White House insiders, victims of "rigid, target fixation."

The appointees were brought in to boost housing, health and environmental programs. Now all functions - except some key national defense items - are being trimmed by OMB at the orders of the President. "People who can't go along with that change may just have to go along to other things," a White House watcher says.

In addition to the continuing budget hassle, some White House aides are increasingly "ticked off" as one said, because they feel some appointees are more loyal to their agency or departmental boss than to the President. Although that happens in every administration - since Cabinet officers tend to be the types who need constant ego-reinforcement and demand absolute loyalty - there is a feeling with some Carter people that it can not be tolerated.

If the top and mid-level changes do come about in any great number, experts here predict that Carter, like Presidents Johnson and Nixon before him, will salt federal agencies with people who believe in his new budget priorities; and who give the White House to make regular reports of what their nominal "boss" in the department is doing.

Where Are They Now? Former Federal Aviation Administration chief Alexander Butterfield - whose disclosure of the White House tapes eventually helped cost President Nixon his federal job - is now a director of Aloha Airlines in Hawaii.

Outside Recruiting: HEW went all the way to Massachuesetts to fill its brand new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Equal Employment Opportunity job. The man who will fill it, Wallace H. Kountze, had been personnel administrator for the Bay State.

Senior Executive Service: The new elite corps for government supergraders will be the Nov. 29 luncheon topic at the Federal Executives League meeting. Jule Sugarman, CSC's architect of reform and Rep. Morris K. Udall (D-Ariz.), the legislative "father" of the bill, will be the speakers. And speaking of Udall's political prodigy . . .

Udall jokingly tells friends that he does not carry baby pictures of all his legislative children. While proud of the civil service reform, Udall isn't so crazy about how two earlier "kids" - postal reform and federal pay reform - have turned out.

Veterans Preference: It is still going strong in the federal service, despite attempts to trim hiring and tenure benefits for nondisabled vets.But in California, where some things happen first, vets preference has been watered down for Los Angeles city workers.Voters there have cut back lifetime benefits for most veterans applying for city jobs. It limits nondisabled vets to a five-year period when they may receive five-point preference on job test scoers. The Carter administration is well aware of the change, and hopes something like it will catch-on in Washington.

Public Information Jobs: ACTION agency is looking for a Grade 14 ($32,442) public affairs chief and a GS 11 or 12 supervisory-editor. Call Jean Goodwin at 254-6363.

Full-time, Part-time Typists: Commerce in Georgetown has Grade 4 and 5 openings. Call Megan McCann at 634-7408.

D.C. Police Officers: Tests for the jobs will be given Thursdays (Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28) at the Civil Service Commission. Forms should be picked up in advance (Standard Form 171) from the Civil Service Commission (19th & E streets NW) or by calling 727-4238.